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Dollar Bin Discoveries: "Should Be an RPG" Edition



[00:00:00]

Kelly: Yeah, you gotta do the fedora.

Mike: was gonna say, you gotta tip that trolley.



Mike: Welcome to Ten Cent Takes the show. We crush critical failures one issue at a time. My name is Mike Thompson and I am joined by my co-host, the Barbarian from Beyond Jessika Frazer.

Jessika: Yes, I am a barbarian.

Mike: You totally are

Jessika: Watch out everyone.

Mike: And as you can hear, we are also joined today by returning guest the Dice Slinger of Destruction, Kelly Galton from Goblin Bros in Petaluma.

Kelly: I am changing my job title right now. Ro Maker is out. Dice Slinger of Destruction is in.

I love that it's not gonna fit on my name tag.

Mike: I mean, [00:01:00] you can just shrink the fond. It'll be

Kelly: Yeah, that's true. Make it like six point font. What does that say dear?

Mike: Oh man. Kelly, would you take a minute to tell our listeners about your store?

Kelly: Yes. , so if you haven't already visited Gobin Brothers games and Gear is a board game, card game and RPG store in Petaluma, California. We are in historic downtown Petaluma. we specialize in all things, fun for humans, specifically board games and RPGs. my personal specialty is in Dungeons and Dragons

Mike: Yeah. If you were new to this show, our main episodes drop every other week and provide in-depth looks into interesting moments in comic books and how they tie into pop culture and history.

But today is one of our dollar Bin Discoveries mini episodes that we do in between those deep dives because we spend a lot of time rooting through dollar bins at shops. But while we find interesting stuff, That are fun and weird. They may not be enough for us to do a deep dive on at the moment. We always reserve the right [00:02:00] to change our mind and come back later on and focus a whole episode on them.

Each episode will feature everyone on the show talking about one random issue that we came across in the dollar bins, what it is, what goes on inside it, and why it's interesting. Basically, these are mini episodes that are meant to provide you with some weekly content in between or more in-depth discussions about the weirder and more interesting moments in comics history.

So the reason that we have Kelly on today is because the theme for today's Dollar Bin Discovery is "Comics That Could Be RPGs" in honor of free RPG Day, which is going to be coming up right after this episode drops. So Kelly, please tell us about Free RPG Day. For our listeners who are unfamiliar.

Kelly: So Free RPG Day is an organization that's been going on for several years now. and they, essentially sponsor an event nationwide, I believe it could be international, I'm not sure. but you sign up in, uh, January, I believe. And, by you, I mean a retail store, you have to have a brick and mortar location and they send you a box with a bunch of material from RPG publishers and distributors. [00:03:00] So this year, for instance, I believe there is something from Leader Games. They're RPG route, which is also a fantastic board game. and there are several miniatures in it.

there are quickstart guides and full core rule books. And every year, Free RPG Day contacts these publishers and distributors and puts together a compendium of specifically Free RPG Day collection of quickstart guides in a bound, volume.

Mike: That's really cool.

Kelly: it's awesome.

Mike: Yeah.

Kelly: Goblin Brothers. Well, so we're participating.

Um, and so on the 24th of June, which is a Saturday, that's free RPG Day, and you can come on into Goblin Brothers and roll our ginormous D20. and I believe the categories are 1, to 9, 10 to 19, and then natural 20. we'll have them divided into different categories. And depending on which category you roll, you will get a prize.

so it's free obviously, but uh, it is divided into, cuz there's a whole range of different things and some of them are [00:04:00] just like little themed sheets of paper or folders or something. And some of them are like full core rule books, so, you know, we wanna divide it up, so, yeah.

Yeah,

Mike: I can tell you that my whole family will be there.

Kelly: my best friend was our first natural 20 last year. Yeah. It was awesome.

Jessika: My face did light up when you said I got to, we get

to roll a large D 20.

Kelly: I mean, you can come in any time and roll the ginormous D20s. On the sign and in our system they are ginormous D20s. Like that's what I have type in when somebody brings somebody up. Yeah.

Mike: because people can't actually see the video feed as they're listening to this. I just wanna note, it has been a special treat for me because I've been watching Jessika's face light up as all these prizes are being described.

Jessika: Ah.

Mike: And then I have been also watching Kelly frantically try to wrangle her cat as he keeps on walking across her desk.

Jessika: Oh my God.

Kelly: so you guys can't see this, but directly out of the frame, there is an empty spot on my desk that I keep specifically for this cat, and he will not stay there. I am literally

Mike: What a cat [00:05:00]

Kelly: yeah, but I am literally ordering a bespoke pet pod for him so that he has a basket to sleep in so that he'll stay there.

Jessika: What I hear, what I hear is that if you give cats their own computer, they'll leave yours alone. Honestly, if you just give them

a tiny laptop and they will sit there like they have their own little

Kelly: I think I have a dead laptop somewhere around. I could just put there. I'd like put a paper of the Mac background over. Yeah. Perfect. Yeah.

Mike: Uh, so yeah, so today's theme is obviously a comic that we came across that we felt could work really well for an RPG Kelly. You were the guest of honor, so please kick us off.

Kelly: Well, so I have a very, very small but hopefully growing comic collection, but this was actually one of the first Comics I went out and tried to collect. And it is called Ghost Money. It looks like this for

Mike: Oh wow. Okay.

Kelly: Um, it's very futuristic and, I had forgotten this and when researching this comic for this episode, I did not realize it is a near [00:06:00] future comic about the year 2020.

Mike: Oh man.

Jessika: Ooh, yikes.

Kelly: so full disclaimer, it's fiction. but essentially it is a very, futuristic view of 2020. and it is a futuristic alternate universe history of the repercussions of 9/11 and the Iraq war.

Mike: Oh wow. Okay.

Kelly: Stick with me here. Stick with me.

Jessika: okay. No, no, no. I'm here.

I'm. Here,

Kelly: We're good. Okay,

Jessika: We're fine.

we're

Kelly: so

Mike: when was this published?

Kelly: uh, 2017.

Mike: Oh, wow. Okay.

Kelly: So, so I got this in the dollar bin at, Brian's Comics, r i p. And I got issues 1, 3, 5, 6, and seven of 10.

Mike: Okay.

Kelly: So I was like, I read the first, comic and, it features an LGBTQ relationship front and center, , in a really healthy way. It [00:07:00] also features, this wild concept of like, democratic countries suddenly being run by like, authoritative dictatorships and, um, you know, weird right?

Jessika: Strange.

Kelly: anyway. and so I really liked it for, an RPG, from an RPG standpoint. I had Ron from the Griffin's Nest in Sebastopol, hunt down the others for me, and he did a fantastic job. , and I got to read the whole series, and I love it for a futuristic or a sci-fi RPG, because.

It starts off with a bang and it is only 10 issues long. It packs a lot of story into those 10 issues, but it doesn't. I find that the world building is left very open-ended, so you could make your whole world set in this extremely futuristic setting that is still like the US and it's the real world.

but like one of the very first things that happens to this girl is, uh, she very randomly makes a friend of an extremely rich woman who has like a car that [00:08:00] turns into a suborbital spaceship that she can just like launch. And then come back down like that Red Bull commercial where they just go up, the rotation of the earth happens and they go back down and just go shopping in Dubai.

Mike: That's so clever.

Kelly: Essentially the premise is that this woman that she meets and eventually like, she falls in love with her almost immediately. That's not a spoiler, I promise. That literally happens like the third page.

Jessika: Yes.

Kelly: I'm so sorry about the emails you guys are gonna get for this because one of the central premise is that, a very famous, terrorist group,

Mike: Hmm.

Kelly: did play the stock market after

Mike: Okay.

Kelly: and she is somehow tied to that money.

And so this girl who's nobody but falls in love with the wrong person gets like unintentionally kind of swept up in this. But it's very strange because there's, there's, within like 20 years, there's been personal space travel developed and the, the democratic company or companies,[00:09:00] countries have been, uh, Freud and slip have been, Kind of twisted into the dictatorships

like in our ti our timeline as the Middle East has been turned into the democracies. And so it's kind of like a, like turning history and the progression of time on its head. and it's just very interesting and it's one of those things that like cyberpunk almost, you could make like a very futuristic, neon core,

Mike: Interesting. I like

Kelly: thing out of it.

Yeah, it's not, I should say. it's translated from French, and I think that leaves a little bit to be desired, but it is, and it's a, they're heavy topics. But I was also the kid that was raised with npr and I like listen to and like, wait, wait, don't tell me recreationally when I was like eight. So I don't know if I just see me, likes these topics.

but it's really a super interesting concept. And I think, for a sci-fi RPG, it would be stellar.

Mike: So you'd wanna make this like a tabletop

storytelling RPG.

Kelly: I think especially the setting, like normalized space travel that is still like, just out of reach. Like [00:10:00] I can't afford a Tesla,

but, but people who make a little more than me, a lot more than me can hurt, can have a Tesla.

They are commonplace. And it's kind of the same idea, like the space travel is for the wealthy, but not the unobtainable wealthy.

And it's really, it's really interesting and like, there are normal cars, but when they draw like the fancy cars, they look like spaceships because they are, they are suborbital craft essentially.

Mike: Yeah, so this almost, this almost sounds like the progression of what you would see from those old 1950s, sixties popular mechanics magazines where it's like the City of Tomorrow, the Car of Tomorrow.

Kelly: It's very, yes. It reminds me of Tomorrow Land, like in the future. This is what, how we're going to travel if you wanna go to Dubai. But it's also fun because the maid character is like a normal person and she's like, I've just flown from London to Dubai in 90 minutes.

Mike: That's awesome.

yeah,

Kelly: cool. Yeah.

Mike: All right. [00:11:00] Well, Jessika, how about you? What are you talking about today?

Jessika: So today I am bringing Girl Scouts. That's spelled G R R L, stone

Mike: Love it. No notes.

Jessika: number one.

Yes. So this is subtitled the Butterfly, and this was published by Image in November of 2021. Created, written and illustrated by Jim Mahfood, this is the story of a bounty hunter named dio, and we find out right away that she's dealing with some sort of grief, some sort of loss.

We also find out that she is taking on a job through her friend Gordy, a three foot tall sentient blob, basically. And he sets her up to work with a guy named, get this Turtleneck Jones. Who is rail thin with a large mustache, goatee, and just these mutton shops and wearing a pair of dark glasses the entire time[00:12:00]

Kelly: Oh,

Jessika: apparel is giving off biker Elvis vibes.

Mike: love it.

Jessika: So,

Kelly: a tumbleweed goes by.

Jessika: exactly. So they go to meet up at the designated location, but right before that, we get our first hint that maybe Gordy is up to something, even though Dio assures Turtleneck that they can completely trust him. We then get a backstory on Dios boyfriend who had recently passed away due to a brain tumor that came back after a surgery, leaving them, no option but to just kinda let it progress as it was going to, and he died at their home and she basically watched him die. So there's a lot more to this job than just a normal gig, and she's just basically trying to keep herself busy to ebb the grief.

Mike: Yeah.

Jessika: So cut. Scene to Gordy, who has called someone in a creepy red robe. Very ghost of Christmas future. Now in this season's colors. So Gordy basically says that Dio and turtleneck are able to be tracked. So he's [00:13:00] done something I, she drank something. So I think that he put a tracker in her drink and that he had done his job and he demanded that his wife and children be freed as they had evidently been previously taken.

And the entity on the phone basically says that, yeah, you did a fine job, but it's been decided that your wife and children would benefit the organization, so they're gonna stay with us.

Kelly: Oh

Mike: love

Jessika: Yeah,

Mike: Twirl that mustache.

Jessika: right. So it's revealed that they work for an organization, an entity. I'm, I'm not quite sure, named Teeth.

Named

Teeth.

yeah. So I think it's an entity, but I'm, I'm not a hundred percent. We see this big toothy thing with like an eye in the middle, so maybe it's an entity. And Gordy is then surrounded by members of this whatever organization.

So he begs them to give cheesecake to his kids every now and again cuz it's their favorite. And the guards basically say, yeah, we'll do what we can. It doesn't feel super genuine.

Mike: Yeah. Okay.

Jessika: Meanwhile, Dio and turtleneck are [00:14:00] wandering right into the trap that Gordy set and they get ambushed trying to follow through with the set plan.

So the ambushes, ask the two if they have seen, like, have you seen these girls? And like put the like holograph up. And have you seen this Magic pair of socks? And DIO denies everything and turtleneck seems like he's more willing to fold. So they basically try to intimidate turtleneck and it's finally revealed that the reason that everybody is looking for DIO is because she is the direct descendant of someone named Choco.

Also called the butterfly. Dio is very confused, explains that she was adopted and she doesn't know her own lineage, so she has no idea what they're talking about. And turtleneck sees this whole situation as very futile. Ends up blowing his own brains out in a fairly graphic two page action scene

and splatter splatter.

And the last page's, Dio surrounded by the other bounty hunters saying, fuck, I didn't see that coming.

Mike: Okay.[00:15:00]

Jessika: So this whole comic is a really cool setting, super dystopian future society. The art was neat. It was drawn in this kind of chaotic, sketchy way, and it was colored in this super interesting fashion where very few colors were used per scene. So there would only be like three colors used and they weren't like shadowed colors.

They were just, those were the colors that were

Mike: Oh, okay. So there's like no shading or anything either.

Kelly: Oh,

Jessika: There's, yeah, it's more kind of sketchy.

Yeah. And one of the pages was meant to look as if it was drawn on like yellow lined paper. So that was kind of a neat touch.

Kelly: That's cool.

Jessika: and I think the world itself would make a really neat RPG you'd have a lot of different bounty hunting missions, but I also think it would make a really neat one person RPG or a video game, even with a variable amount of players.

Mike: Okay.

Jessika: It did have a lot of elements where one could have rolled, like if we were comparing it like to a similar DND format. [00:16:00] With dice rolls, you could roll inside to check on gordy's intentions, the fight scenes rolling for initiative, you know, and other fighting for you know, hits would make sense. I also think it would be a ton of fun to be able to create an alien character since really imagination is the limit, especially based on the designs for the other aliens that I was seeing in the comic.

So yeah, they could be fun to play,

Kelly: Girl,

Jessika: girl.

Kelly: Oh my god.

Mike: I love everything about

Kelly: That's ins I no notes. It continues. Amazing.

Jessika: Well, Mike, what about you? Did you also head future, or we headed in a different

Mike: Uh, we're going in a different direction, so.

Jessika: Bring it.

Mike: I picked up Blood of the Innocent. I got the complete mini-series from Jeff Smith, the Comic Hunter up in Canada with that big package of comics that I put together like a while ago, and it's still paying out. It was written by Ricky Shanklin and Mark Wheatley and drawn by Mark Hempel. [00:17:00] Hempel and Wheatley previously created this acclaimed science fiction comic called Mars from First Comics, which Jessika discussed in a recent episode of Dollar Bin Discoveries and apparently Blood of the Innocent was their first attempt at a horror comic.

It was published in January, 1986 by Warp Graphics, the guys who did Elf Quest. And we opened with children playing in the streets of London, singing a nursery rhyme about how Jack the Ripper's dead. And then we cut back to a year earlier at an aristocratic dinner party.

Prince Albert Victor Duke of Clarence, aka Eddie and another Noble are discussing how there's some new royalty in town who's trying to convince people to move to his homeland of quote, Transylvania or wherever. Meanwhile in a harbor on the English coast, two sailors are discussing how strange their European aristocratic passenger is, as he looked way rougher (read: older) when he first came on board, but now he doesn't. Spoiler: It's Dracula.

Jessika: Oh, there we go.

Kelly: Okay,

sure.

Mike: so Dracula then bullies the [00:18:00] foreman into loading his special cargo, which is the box he traveled in, across the ocean with, you know, the, the dirt that he can sleep in. And he ends up getting it delivered to white Chapel.

There's a really good bit where the foreman tries to get his attack dog named Satan to go after Dracula, and then Dracula immediately dominates it mentally and takes the dog with him.

Um,

Jessika: Nice.

Mike: back in London, Eddie is talking to his bedmate about how it's stupid that a noble would insist on spending his time in white chapel, and he seems really grumpy about it.

After Eddie leaves, we learned that the person in bed with him was a dude. So happy, pride.

Kelly: Happy Pride.

Mike: and then in white Chapel, Dracula starts, you know, stalking the streets. We see him go after a. A woman, but we don't see him actually feed on her. We learn then that eddie is suffering from syphilis, a disease with no cure at the time he and his, I think it's his doctor, but it may just be a confidant.

Discuss the symptoms, which includes madness. And we see Eddie starting to exhibit symptoms of psychotic rage, [00:19:00] and then it's revealed that he is actually Jack the ripper. He. Literally runs into Dracula after a murderer. The count almost drinks his blood, but then stops because he can smell the disease on the prince.

The count notes that the only reason Eddie will live is because his blood is tainted and he flies off into the night and Eddie is like, no, I'm actually God's sword and I'm a slayer of the unclean. And Draculas response is, uh, you would kill yourself if that was true. It's, it's, it's pretty good. At an exclusive party, Eddie tells his friends about what just happened, including the murder.

And basically they just cover it up because they think that he's gone crazy and isn't really responsible for the murder because of his diminished mental faculties. Plus they think he's hallucinating about Dracula. Like they're like, okay.

Jessika: Right,

Mike: And so that's one of the things is like when they say there probably won't be an investigation, he says, but I killed a woman.

And the response is, you killed a street whore. That barely qualifies.

Jessika: Um,

Mike: Which, okay. But here's the thing is you're like, that is not unrealistic for the time.[00:20:00]

Jessika: I

Kelly: or, or now?

Mike: I mean, yeah, but like, but it, it's one of those things where it doesn't feel like the comic is trying to be misogynist. It's like it's showing the misogyny of the system. And I was like, yeah. All right. Then back in white chapel, Dracula ends up seducing a woman.

They go back to her place, he prepares to feed while they're naked, and then she forcefully grabs him, and then somehow she ends up like, Entering his memories while they have sex. So she ends up like seeing him dealing with like a peasant revolt. And then the last page shows Dracula has left her behind.

You know, like his hookup is left in bed as the morning comes. And then there's a line about how he is left another victim in his wake. But this time it's a victim of love.

Kelly: Oh my God.

Mike: It's,

Kelly: I

love it.

Mike: uh, it's, it's, so over the top. This is like, shockingly better than I expected because the cover, the cover of this book, it shows Jack the Ripper and Dracula fighting. It literally says Dracula Jack the Ripper, [00:21:00] nightmare and fantasy for mature readers. And you're like, all right, this is gonna be terrible.

Kelly: Oh my God. It's like a , unmatched card game where they have like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and like Peter Pan or something.

Mike: Yeah. It's kinda like Smash Up a little bit.

Yeah.

Jessika: Right.

Mike: But yeah, like, this was way better than I expected. I loved the inclusion of queerness in the narrative. I really like that. Dracula isn't actually the true monster of the story like, yeah.

Kelly: It's a high bar.

Jessika: Yeah.

Right.

Mike: He's more like just a predator at this point in time, which I kind of dug.

Kelly: Hm.

Mike: Yeah, and the art, and this is great. Like this is, this is genuinely, this is so good. We might have to do a full like episode about it at some

Jessika: Okay. No, I'm down. I'm

down.

Mike: there. But I would, I would love to see a tabletop game based on this. Like I think you could do either like a full on like board game or a tabletop RPG where you have monsters of Victorian horror going up against each other in a city like London.

you could do characters like Dracula, Jack the Ripper, Frankenstein, and his monster. And then you could have like day night cycles. Maybe [00:22:00] have like the mummy, because ancient Egypt was like all the rage amongst the aristocracy of Victorian England.

Jessika: They used to eat them.

Mike: yeah, I remember that.

Jessika: You remember that? Oh, see, that's Mike. That's Mike. Admitting that he was around in the Victorian era.

Kelly: Is

Jessika: Vampire. Vampire.

Kelly: Is there a narrative here that Mike isn't immortal?

Jessika: Now

there is. Now there fucking

Mike: shaven, nobody believes that I'm in my forties when I'm actually clean shaven,

Kelly: It's you, Keanu Reeves and Anne Hathaway. You were

Mike: right? It's the hairline. That's what it is.

Jessika: Illuminati,

they found the Fountain of Youth.

Mike: Anyway. But the other note that I have is that you could have like day and night cycles for this game where the characters have to perform different actions to maintain like the facade of mortality and gain resources.

Jessika: Okay. You know what else you could do?

You know, you could have a really immersive experience and you could dress up.

Mike: Yeah.

Kelly: Wait, do you not do that for d d [00:23:00] anyway?

Jessika: We play d and d virtually. I wish we did. I'm usually just wearing a shirt and no pants, you know what I'm saying? Like nobody can see

Kelly: You guys are lucky. I got home and changed my shirt, but you're lucky I'm not wearing just my pajama pants and whatever shirt I slept in.

Mike: Fair. Yeah. Kelly, we might actually have to like collaborate on a, a tabletop game for this now,

like a, a Tencent take slash goblin

Kelly: I I'm also a freelance editor for RPGs now. so I'm down

Mike: I love it.

Kelly: so. Yeah.

That's

Jessika: we might, we might have to get a Patreon together just to,

uh,

Kelly: Oh, hmm. Interesting.

Jessika: Fascinating.

Kelly: Monkeys, typewriter, RPGs with Ten Cent Takes.

Mike: Good. I mean we are dollar bin goblins, goblin bros. Like, you

Kelly: Oh

Jessika: It's a good mashup.

Kelly: yes. Dublin. Dublin bin Goblin Bros.

Mike: dollar Bin Goblin Bros. I don't know.

Kelly: It's [00:24:00] Sunday. It's usually my day off. My brain is like expanding. Oh yeah.

Mike: Love it.

Kelly: I love it. Amazing. Well, those sound fascinating. I clearly need to expand my comic collection.

Mike: Yeah, anytime you want recommendations

Kelly: Yeah. Anytime I have money to expand a comic collection that wouldn't go to board games. Yeah. Yeah. Amazing.

Mike: All right. Well, Kelly, thank you as always for coming on the show. It was great to have you back. Uh, if, if this is your first time hearing Kelly on the show, go back to the episode where we talked about the realm where she was our DND expert explaining the history of DND. It was really a fun episode.

Kelly: It was awesome. Thank you so much for having me back. I, I'm, I've been so excited to do this for weeks, so,

Mike: We've been excited to have you on, but yeah. so that'll be it for us. next week we will have another full length episode, and then after that it'll be another dollar bin discovery. Who knows what either of those will be. It's all a mystery for [00:25:00] us. But until then, stay safe and we will see you in the stacks.

Jessika: Thanks for listening to Ten Cent Takes. Accessibility is important to us, so text transcriptions of each of our published episodes can be found on our website.

Mike: This episode was hosted by Jessika Frazer, Mike Thompson and Kelly Galten. Written by Mike Thompson, Jessika Frazer and Kelly Galten, and edited by Mike Thompson. Our intro theme was written and performed by Jared Emerson Johnson, of Bay Area Sound. Our credits and transition music is Pursuit of Life by Evan McDonald and was purchased with a standard license from Premium Beat.

Our banner graphics were designed by Sarah Frank, who you can find at lookmomdraws.com.

Jessika: If you'd like to get in touch with us, ask us questions or tell us about how we got something wrong, please head over. tencenttakes.com or shoot an email to Tencenttakes@gmail.com. You can also find us on Twitter. For now, the official podcast account is TencentTakes. Jessika is Jessika Witha, and Jessika's spelled with a K, and Mike is Vansau, v A n S A U.[00:26:00]

We're also on blue sky, Mastodon, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook. The complete list is in the show notes.

Kelly: If you'd like to contact Goblin Brothers Games and Gear, you can find us online at goblinbros.com. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at kelly@goblinbros.com, and our Instagram is the same at Goblinbros and Twitter and Facebook are also the same.

Mike: If you'd like to support us, be sure to download, rate and review wherever you listen

Jessika: Stay safe out there.

Mike: and support your local comic shop.

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